Gelatin, or gelatine, is a substance derived from the processing of animal collagen. Commercially, this is most typically obtained from cattle hides and bones and pigskins. Contrary to popular belief, gelatin is not rendered from the feet or horns of animals, which are made primarily of keratin rather than collagen. In its most basic form, commercially processed edible gelatin is a tasteless beige or pale yellow powder or granules. It is composed of mostly protein, with a small percentage of mineral salts and water making up the balance. Gelatin contains eighteen amino acids. Of the ten essential amino acids necessary for human health, gelatin lacks only tryptophan. Edible gelatin is extraordinarily versatile. Aside from the ubiquitous Jell-OÂ® desserts popular both in institutional cafeterias and home kitchens around the world, gelatin can be found in an amazing array of food products. In the processed food industry, it is used a thickener, a gelling agent, a stabilizer, and an emulsifier. As such, it can be found in foods as diverse as yogurt, pate, aspic, marshmallows and gummy candy, soups, salad dressings, and canned ham.